I really hope you got some rest overnight.
It was another huge day in a long run of them, and one with a lot of emotion, which always takes a toll. And that doesn’t just go away because the day is over. Be gentle with yourself today.
It’s party room meeting day, so parliament won’t start until midday. By any measure, the government had a shocker of a day. Scott Morrison perhaps had his worse day, performance-wise, since becoming prime minister. I know that is all very politics, but it is a mark of just how much real world has filtered in: the master of the political spin, who operates by dismissing anything he doesn’t want to speak about, couldn’t work out how to do it yesterday.
His “this is a vibrant liberal democracy, Mr Speaker, not far from here, such marches, even now, are being met with bullets, but not here in this country, Mr Speaker” line was the only thing people took from his response to the marches – because it sums up just how at sea the prime minister appears to be in confronting this issue.
He’s been passive when people looked to him for leadership. That doesn’t look like changing anytime soon.
Meanwhile, the government is also facing pressure over Australia’s vaccine rollout, and the news Germany, France and Italy are suspending AstraZeneca vaccine use over concerns about blood clots will not help.
There is no proven link between the vaccine and blood clots. The UK has rolled it out, with no reported issues.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is slated to play a large role in Australia’s vaccination program, with production to be done on-shore.
The chief health officer, Prof Paul Kelly, said Australia had strong reporting protocols around issues, and the vaccine was safe.
The government has faced criticism over the rollout of the vaccine program, with most Australians to have received their second doses by December, while the US aims to have its population vaccinated by July.
“It’s not a race. It’s not a competition. It’s about the health and safety of Australians,” Morrison said on Sunday.
We’ll cover that and everything else that happens in the parliament and surrounds today. You have Amy Remeikis with you, with Mike Bowers walking the halls. Katharine Murphy, Daniel Hurst and Paul Karp are also on deck, with the entire Guardian brains trust at your disposal.
And I know you miss the comments – we truly do too. We miss your input. But Australia’s defamation laws mean we all have to be extra careful. Premoderating the blog comments is a huge undertaking – and the time involved means it’s a pretty stilted conversation anyway – so we have switched them off. We will turn them back on as soon as we can.
I’m going to grab myself another coffee and then jump straight in.